[Guest Post] 10-Year Vision Series # 1 – Founders of The Mastermind Within




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A few months ago, I shared the letter I wrote myself from the perspective of 10 years into the future, the idea was to write describe your life based on anything you wanted or wanted to accomplish (as if it had already happened). After publishing that post and inviting guest submissions, the bloggers at “The Mastermind Within” volunteered to participate. Below you will find the letters they wrote as a vision for their lives over the next 10 years (both Erik & Henry participated).

Dear Henry William Ross Jones,

March 23rd 2017 was one of the most important days in your life.  I would not be writing to you the man I am today 10 years in the future.  You took a HUGE risk… people questioned your decision, you did what the previous generation thought was insane… what about GAPS in your resume? The world is changing and you understood this.  You set an exit date for your awesome Corporate America job, working at the best bank in the country.  Following the path you had envisioned at a young age, the path you thought would make you successful… guess what, that was the first day of the rest of your life.  That day you became a MAN.  You took action, it took GUTS, and you made a decision that will alter your life for the better.  Thank You.  Thank you Henry William Ross Jones for making that decision.

I am writing to you telling you this was the right decision.   You have put together the missing piece of your life, you have found your career, and you have found your passion.  Starting your own business and taking The Mastermind Within to the next level with Erik and Jake is part of your destiny.  We built a fantastic resource to help people learn Personal Finance.  Our world wanted No Child Left Behind.  We realized how many Adults were being left behind.  We took action and are giving back to the world.  We have helped spread financial education by Keeping It Simple Stupid.  You have personally helped over 1,000 people become financially free, not to mention the millions of people who read the blog monthly.  There are infinite possibilities in this world and we all have a role to play.  Be grateful.  Give back to the world.  Every minute in life is precious.  Stay present and the world will present incredible opportunities.

Remember you could never have done this alone.  Life is full of teachers and they have all played a role in getting you to this stage.  Your parents have been supportive of your journey, and as much as they thought you made a bone-headed decision, they were there for you.  Mark and Beth Jones are incredible human beings who have influenced you to work hard, believe in yourself, and give back to the world.  Remember all of those times as a youth giving back: spending weekends and week nights helping paint the hallways in Alice Smith… volunteering with your mom at the ICA food shelf, and countless hours helping prepare for Winterfest.  You didn’t realize it at the time, but they were helping build your foundation. They sacrificed to give you incredible opportunities, going to college, fixing up your first house, and most importantly believing in you.  Now they are retired and you live a life where you can play tennis with your dad, volunteer with your mom, and spend weekends with them at the farm.

You have grown closer with all of your younger brothers as you have aged and matured.  Edward has always been your confidant.  You have stayed in touch and have helped each other find the light of what you love in this world.  Remember when Edward introduced you to Kundalini yoga when he was home for Winter Break in 2016.  He has always been a step ahead…. Meditation, Intermediate Fasting, and Journaling – all practices you continue to this day!  He was also your first client for The Mastermind Within and he is able to travel the world, continue his love of music, and explore new opportunities while being financially free.

William has always been your mature brother.  Even from a young age, he has shown responsibility, persistence, and passion.  He has helped you stay in tune with nature while growing closer.  Your annual boundary waters trip has been a blessing and an amazing time to get away from the digital world.  You still randomly watch office re-runs and chew loudly in his presence (yeah it’s a brother thing).  William has helped you plan countless events:  Charity gala’s, Birthday parties, and EVEN your wedding!  He is still a vegetarian, and you and Charlie will always remind him of the time he ate a hot dog at Shady Oak Lake as a kid!

Charlie has always looked up to you.  He is the youngest of four and followed a path similar to yours.  Working at Lunds, playing Halo, and playing Soccer / Basketball… All fun things, but distractions from what really matters.  You two have grown closer over the last 10 years.  Once you quit your job, you had more time to spend with him.  You two would go lift together then eat at chipotle.  It is your ritual.  How amazing it was seeing him transform from a strong husky boy to a muscular confident man.  He dropped out of college, but that opened him up to the world of hustling.  He saw your success with Real Estate, Blogging, and Consulting.  Passive Income, he understood this and it helped him start on his journey to financial freedom, monetizing his own you-tube channel.  Charlie has only admitted this a few times, but his 20th birthday gift (one of many books you gave him) Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning had a lasting impact on his success.  He took responsibility of his own life and still looks up to you as a brother and a mentor.

You have met many many many AMAZING people in your life and there isn’t room to mention them all here.    You know the impact every individual has had on your life and it’s amazing how they all play a part in who you are today.  Shout out to your friend Erik!  Working together – taking walks around the skyways, telling DAD jokes like the camel joke:

“There are three camels, a papa camel, a mama camel, and a baby camel. Papa Camel has 2 humps, Mama Camel has 1 hump, and Baby Camel has 0 humps.  What did they name the baby camel?

HUMPHREY —- Still Funny to this day!

And playing basketball grew your friendship.  Even though you two are competitive and he occasionally blocks you balling, he has been a true friend.  You become like people you hang out with, and have both encouraged each other with positivity, honesty, and becoming the person you envision yourself to be.  You two both took HUGE Risks quitting your full time jobs, taking The Mastermind Within and its message worldwide.

The Mastermind Within hopes to build a collaborative community where ideas can flow openly, and readers can build knowledge and experience amazing personal growth.

Health & Fitness

You have always loved playing sports and staying active… think they still call that ADHD…  Guess what!  They call you DIESEL and you accomplished your goal of 200 pounds and 8% body fat by the end of 2017.  While maintaining a healthy weight of 190-210 and 6-9% body fat the last ten years.  BTW this WAS NOT FAIR on your basketball league… seriously you are posterizing with your dunks and don’t miss from mid-range.  Plus as you have gotten older your post moves remind you of Luis (LA Fitness).  You continued following the MAPS program and your Bigger, Faster, Stronger posts were featured on Mindpump.  You were even invited onto the podcast, talk about an incredible experience!   Shout out to Balazs for helping you create a macro – plan and understanding the nuances of weight lifting and nutritional timing.  This was key in obtaining your goals – while continuing to record all your workouts!  Weight Lifting has been a passion of Balazs for decades and he was able to start his own side hustle helping people achieve their health and fitness goals!  He is one of your oldest friends and you two still lift/ball/Catan together!   It’s crazy to think Emma is 10 years old as of this writing… wow time flys!

Personal Growth

You have always had issues focusing.  That is okay, your friend Reed said it best.  “Henry, if you care about something you work your @$$ off, though when you don’t care you don’t give a $HIT.”  You have continued working on yourself and are never complacent.  The Miracle Morning and SAVERS has become a constant in your life.  You have prioritized your own growth and discipline and these small incremental changes have helped you receive the Compound Effect on your life.  The best investment you can make is in yourself [GYFG emphasis added].

Thank you for investing in Vocal Empowerment classes with Ariella.  This along with continued Kundalini yoga has grounded you in your authentic self and understanding you are perfect just the way you are.  Breath is everything and both of those activities have helped you root yourself in the world’s energy.  Developing your memory palace was part of your foundation for growth.   It has helped you remember 1000s of people and remember the things that really matter.  Family, experiences, and Seinfeld quotes!

Thank you for taking Emotional Intelligence Classes with Steve Fies.  This was another incredible investment in yourself that will pay continuous dividends throughout your life.  You have always loved people, and the more you can understand their perspective and experiences the more you can grow together.

You have become extremely successful (Success is the ability to do what you want when you want to) in the world of personal consulting both financial and life.  You became financially free within the first 2 years of quitting your job – mainly by providing value to the world.

You have made an impact on millions of lives through your bestselling books and have given many TED talks.   Story-telling is a passion of yours and sharing your experiences, thoughts, and perspective has provided infinite value to the world.  You still love to listen to other’s journeys and experiences, and this compassion in helping people follow their passions and develop a life that is fulfilling and meaningful is important to you and what you are known for.

The Alchemist is still your favorite book, especially as you have learned how the universe serves the world.

“When you want something, the whole universe conspires to make it happen.”

Speaking of – the book Models was incredible.  The timing of receiving it from Jake fit perfectly on your journey of self-discovery.  Be your authentic self and attract women through honesty and vulnerability.



Being your authentic honest and vulnerable self has attracted many INCREDIBLE individuals into your life.  You have met many of your role models including Tim Ferris, Tony Robbins, and Paulo Coelho.  You are constantly surrounding yourself by people who are living their passions and are grateful for this world and the finite nature of life.

You have traveled the world and met people from all walks of life.  You have been to every continent and continue to work on your communication skills!   You have met many incredible women and value all of your shared experiences, adventures, and stories.  They have all helped you become the man you are today by pushing your comfort zone, learning new skills, and truly living.

All of this helped you be the person you are today, enabling you to meet the women of your dreams.  She is passionate, generous, and loves helping others.  She finds joy in the smallest things and laughs at your corny jokes.  You two make anything an adventure, from sending out Wedding invitations (you decided it was best to collect post cards from around the world), to hanging out at your farm and playing cribbage.  She is intelligent (aren’t you glad you learned Spanish!!! 🙂 , beautiful, and pushes you to be the best version of yourself while loving who you are in the present.  You two stay active together and both value healthy lifestyles.  You are a father of a baby boy, with another child on the way.  Your wife is an amazing mother and you are truly blessed in having a happy and healthy family.


You have lived an incredible life so far.  Though to live this incredible life you need to continue to invest in yourself and your loved ones.  Life is a learning process so always be learning, and finding passion to drive you through the hard times.  YOU CONTROL YOUR OWN DESTINY.  Never let anyone tell you anything else.  Stay present and enjoy the little moments.  Be GRATEFUL and COMPASSIONATE.  Keep asking questions and stay curious.  Continue trusting your gut and treating others the way you want to be treated.

I cheers you on everything you have accomplished and want to remember what you learned from your Grandma Helen Neuman.  “ALL YOU CONTROL IN LIFE IS YOUR ATTITUDE”

Keep living and I look forward to our next encounter.

Henry William Ross Jones!

Written: 3/8/2027

Sent back in time to: 3/8/2017

Dear Erik,

It’s been a while! You are 34 now! My do the years go fast.

First off, since family is very important to us, all of our sisters are grown up and out of the house! You are so proud of them for achieving success at a very high level. You’ve been a great role model for them and they love you. Dad is retired and out on the golf course most days and mom is working at the Church. The family is doing well, people are getting married, and the family reunions are fun as ever. Everyone enjoys hanging out with each other – imagine that!

Now, on to our accomplishments: in the past ten years, you’ve done amazing things. You set the bar extremely high for yourself, and crushed it.

Personal Development

Remember in 2017 when you blew through your goal to read 75 books? 100 books in a single year, what were you thinking? Well, remember when you did it every year for the 5 years after? We are such a nerd 🙂

You experienced true personal growth by reading and devoting your mid-twenties to personal development. Fueled by your favorite quote, you achieved wild success:

“Your level of personal success will rarely exceed your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become.”

Ever since you read The Miracle Morning and followed it up with The Slight Edge, you have been killing it. You still wake up early and you have been applying The Slight Edge each and every day in your personal life. It has resulted in wild growth in all aspects of your life.


You have started multiple businesses, and now lead an organization of people. You quit your corporate job before you turned 25. What a pity, they loved you. It was a tough decision, a decision you took to your blog, and asked your readers if you should scratch the entrepreneurial itch! Did you ever scratch that thing!! As you realized 10 years ago, you had a higher calling outside of Corporate America.

After quitting your corporate job, you took off and created a number of companies. You started with The Mastermind Within.  You, Henry, and Jake helped inspire many people to get their finances in shape through your professional personal finance consulting service. Through your courses and classes, many young adults have gotten out of debt, built up savings accounts and became financially free.

After building up The Mastermind Within, you continued to influence the hearts and minds of people to achieve their full potential. You have developed into a calm and wise individual, and someone who is always looking to help.

In addition to your consulting services, you have bought 10 properties which would allow you to quit working if you wanted to. You are financially free since you sacrificed during your twenties. It was hardly a sacrifice, you love building things and watching them grow. You still own your first house on Harriet! I dream back to the summers where you got home from work and could go run around the lake and check out the girls who were running around! (Hope our wife isn’t reading this!)


At home, you have two kids and a beautiful wife. You coach your son’s baseball team and are excited to continue on with the family tradition of coaching. Your daughter is the sweetest little girl – always wanting to hang out in daddy’s lap and read! She takes after your youngest sister of somehow being non-competitive in such a competitive family!

You have a great group of friends who push you to be your very best. You took to heart the meaning of the statement “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with” and now regularly meet with CEOs and other business owners. You wanted to be a millionaire, so you started hanging out with millionaires.

You are very lucky to have met Henry and to have reached out to Jake. Both of these guys have been instrumental to your social development. Henry’s wild side at the bar rubbed off on you and you showed no fear when chatting with other women or high ranking people. You repeatedly told yourself, “Everyone is a person and is unique. Find something beautiful about them and welcome them into your life.” This has helped you welcome many individuals into your life and you are grateful for meeting all of them.


Fitness wise, you still don’t enjoy running, but you are still playing basketball every Saturday for a couple hours with Henry! You can’t get up like you used to, but you still can hit 3’s with the best of them! Don’t worry though, when you were 25, you finally dunked. This was a combination of consistent effort in the gym, low body fat, and determination. You still can squat and deadlift over 2 plates and are roughly 165 pounds.

You’re still playing softball and have been overtaken by another young buck. You loved playing center-field but the wheels aren’t quite there anymore.


Outside of work and play, you mentor many young entrepreneurs hoping to influence their thoughts and businesses. You love giving back and it’s sometimes tough to say no.


All in all, life is great. You set ridiculous goals at 24, and achieved them. You crushed them out of the park actually. Henry’s nickname for you is “The Machine” since your motor never stops. You are always looking to help and keep things going.

Have fun on the journey. The efforts you are putting in now will not be wasted. Just make sure to keep calling your grandparents, they miss you and love you 😉


Erik and Henry blog over at The Mastermind Within mainly on personal finance, but also have pieces on personal development, fitness, and entrepreneurship. They are passionate about helping young adults become financially successful! They offer personal finance consulting and have a free 5-day mini course, check them out!

Gen Y Finance Guy

Hey, I’m Dom - the man behind the cartoon. You’ll notice that I sign off as "Gen Y Finance Guy" on all my posts, due to the fact that I write this blog anonymously (at least for now). I like to think of myself as the Chief Freedom Officer here of my little corner of the internet. In the real world, I’m a former 30-something C-Suite executive turned entrepreneur turned capital allocator. I am trying to humanize finance by sharing my own journey to Financial Freedom. I believe in total honesty and transparency. That is why before I ever started blogging, I decided that I would share all of my own financial stats. I do this not to brag, but instead to inspire motivate, and also to hold myself accountable. My goal is to be a beacon of hope, motivation, and inspiration, for you, the reader, by living life by example and sharing it all here on the blog. My sincere hope is that you will be able to learn from me - both from my successes and my failures! Read More



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6 Responses

  1. Dom am truly grateful for sharing this exercise with us! As of this writing I have quit my day job and am sitting having brunch in Santiago, Spain after a 334 kilometer Pilgrimage, and never been happier! Thank you for sharing this with your readers and excited for the future! 🙂

  2. Interesting. I’m all about defined goals. I never thought to write them out in this type of format though. Guess it expands beyond goals to positive self-talk, which is also shown to help people achieve goals. Good food for thought.

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